Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I've been doing

I actually had a request from a league mate to give more details on how I am eating and how it's made such a difference.

So here is the basic rules:

1. Eat an F-load of veggies, at least a pound of fresh veg and a pound of cooked.
2. Eat like a cup of super duper lean protein source, ie beans, meat analogs, chicken, ect
3. Eat a cup or less of starchy stuff, ie potato, rice, bread or pasta
4. Don't use oil in cooking. If you are going to saute, just use some water. Save the oil for when you can actually taste it like avocados, or nuts and use these super sparingly. Like a tablespoon of nuts.
5. Use vinegars, salsas, and spices to season your food. Salty stuff is ok as long as it's oil free.
6. Eat up to 4 servings of fruit. A good sized apple is 2 servings.
7. Drink an F-load of water.
8. Take a multivitamin.
9. Do at least a little exercise.

This makes it so I can eat and stuff myself daily if I want. On days where I am good I eat more normal sized portions, but I am a chow hound so I usually eat til I'm stuffed.

I can be super lazy too. I try to get out and skate or walk but sometimes it doesn't happen. Fortunately I can be lazy and the diet still works.

I try to do the following daily exercises though that keep up muscle strength.

Do 8 reps of the following series:
25 situp/crunches
25 back ups/super mans (like a situp, but on your stomach to work back muscles)
12 Push ups (do these on your toes, if you only lower yourself an inch that's fine, you'll improve)
25 Squats
25 lunges each leg

You can spread these out through the day if you want. And if you can't do them all, just start with one rep and increase as you are able.

This works all the important muscles for derby and you can do everything with just a towel or yoga mat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Gravy!

So I got tired of maintaining the double blog and I figured my derby readers should have some more veggie cooking in their lives and my veggies readers totally need derby in theirs!

Today's low calorie, high veggie, super filling meal is Gravy on veggies. When I first started eating better to trim down I noticed I was super tired all the time. I was eating low carb and while it is certainly effective, it can have some side effects with your skating.

I found though if I increase the total quantity of what I eat, ie more veggies and tofu or whatever protein source floats your boat, my energy level goes back to normal, without a significant increase in calories.

Anyways. I love gravy. Could drink it! I made a big vat of the stuff and heat it up and pour on whichever veggies are knocking around the fridge.

Mushroom gravy:
3 giant carrots
15 large mushrooms
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
2-4 heaping spoons of veggie broth powder
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Chop all the veg into small pea sized peas and saute in a little water until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and add water until you have a good soup sized quantity of gravy. Stir and let it bubble until it thickens. We're talking a big soup pot of gravy, it's thick, full of veggies and good on everything. Per cup it is about 50 calories so sauce it up!

In the mean time steam some favorite veggies, I did broccoli, and place on top of a big bowl of baby spinach. Pour gravy over the top and let the spinach wilt a bit. I topped it all with some fresh tomatoes and a little nooch (nutritional yeast).

Basically I treat the gravy a bit like stroganoff sauce but instead of ladeling it over a starch and calorie filled base like noodles or rice, which you could certainly do if you weren't watch the old bottom line so to speak, I put it over spinach or cabbage.

Spinach is great because you don't need to cook it. Cabbage you may want to steam a little, though if you slice it very thin, it should have just a little crunch to it and be slightly cooked by the heat.

Ghetto Mash

Yeah I had mushrooms and broccoli that needed to be eaten. And I am a big fan of ghetto mash.
So take out the food processor and shred like mad:

2 pounds mushrooms
1.5 large onions
1 bulb peeled garlic
3 carrots
6 cups broccoli florets

Dump it in a gigundo frying pan and saute over med high heat. No oil needed with the amount of moisture, but you can add water if you need to.

When it's cooked down and everything tender, add a little soy sauce. It should be kind of soupy at this point. So here is where I add a couple of tablespoons of gravy mix. Stir it up and let it thicken. Kind of like super chunky gravy!

At this point you could stuff peppers with it and bake em. Dump it over rice or noodles. I dumped a ton over baby spinach and a couple of chopped tomatoes.
In my huge salad bowl serving which I couldn't actually finish was probably 200 calories of chunky salty goodness. Ohhh yeah. It wasn't pretty, but tasted real good.

Thanksgiving this year

I talked to my mom last night about Thanksgiving.

In years previous when I was vegan, my family was always less than supportive. They tend towards the macho "let's kill something and then eat it"mentality. But eating good food always trumped the macho attitude so often if it tasted good, they would just go with it, vegan or not.

My mom would every once in a while sneak in the supportive vibes by serving the tofurkey I brought or swapping dairy products for non dairy.

Things have been running a little slim in terms of family these days. One of my brothers lives out of the country. One brother lives in Chicago. Dad died a few years ago. So it's just me, my mother and brother with his two girls.

This year we're having a small get together at my mother's apartment. She'll cook her food and I'll cook mine. It used to be a source of contention when I would cook vegan food. But now they seem to all like it. Mostly, I think, because they are all over 40 and don't have the metabolism to eat a 5000 calorie meal.

Funny how so much of that bravado goes out the door when you get old and fat.

Veggie beef soup

I had a bunch of mushrooms I needed to use up and was feeling like a good salty soup.

1 whole onion roughly chopped
1-2 pounds mushrooms roughly chopped (any kind or mix)
1 whole garlic bulb, each clove smashed and peeled
5-6 carrots roughly chopped
3-4 celery roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons poultry seasoning

dump it all into a large soup pot on med heat. Add a half cup of water if it gets dry.
Cover and let it cook down for 30-40 minutes until everything is dark and hammered.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetarian beef base, a couple dashes vegan Worcestershire and a good 1/2 to 1 cup vermouth. Let it cook for another 20 minutes.

At this point add 8-10 cups water or more depending on how salty it is. If it's not salty enough add a teaspoons of veg broth powder. I like to mix broths to give it more depth of flavor.

At this point you could add any roughly chopped veggies. I opted to add a whole cabbage shredded. Cabbage is great with a beefy broth. You could add a little tomato juice or a few tomatoes if it's too salty and heavy for you.

I also add a couple cups of baby spinach to my bowl before I ladle in the soup to give it a little extra veggies. And a sprinkle of vegan white cheese is nice too!

Cabbage and cheese

One of my favorite foods has always been noodles with parmesan.
Well I'm trying to cut down on calories and obviously eating vegan so change of menu.

So instead I do steamed cabbage strips, to be noodle-esk, sprinkled with a little daiya, or vegan parm, and a little soy butter with nutritional yeast. It was sooo good!

Balsamic Tomato Pesto

This is a total rip off from a packaged pesto, or maybe the packaged pesto is a total rip off. Technically I didn't buy the pesto so maybe it's somewhere in the middle.

Anyways I get this sun dried tomato pesto sauce from a friend whose spouse works for the company so she brings me vegan products from time to time. One of the incredibly annoying things though, is that they add sooo much oil to everything!

Now don't get me wrong, a little fat added here and there is good. But if you can't taste it, whats the point in getting all the extra calories? It's like a calorie roofie, you ate it, but never knew it happened to you until it shows up on your ass the next day.

Anyways I took the sun dried tomato pesto idea and revamped it. So a product that is essentially chopped sun dried tomatoes, oil, and walnuts. At a whopping 250 calories per 1/4 cup, and mind you this is not strong pesto. You really want to add the entire container to be even able to taste it! So 750 calories later... Total Bull!

Here's my 50 calorie version.

4 cups big chunk cut tomatoes, depending on how big they are. Cherry tomatoes would work great here.
Lay out on a broiler pan (you could saute, but then it just ends up like pasta sauce) and broil on high until wilted and starting to brown a little.
Boil some pasta!
When the pasta is done drain the water into a bowl with chopped broccoli, or whatever your favorite veg on pasta is.
After a few minutes the broccoli should be well cooked.
Toss the tomatoes, broccoli and pasta with balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper.
The tomatoes mellow the vinegar, the vinegar sweetens the tomatoes and well salt just makes it all work.

Oh yeah and it tastes like exactly the same. Total rip off.

Soymilk Oatmeal

Nothing fancy, but my favorite kind of hot cereal.

I use mostly rolled oats, but depending on your grocery store, there are other "rolled" grains, like rye, wheat, triticale, ect. These are good to mix with rolled oats and give a little more texture.

I mix 2 cups soymilk with 2-3 cups rolled oats/grains and put in a pot over medium low heat.
Keep an eye on it after a few minutes as the soymilk may burn if it gets too hot.

Soymilk or whatever milk, makes it just sweet enough and really creamy. I add a chopped dried fruit and nut mix as well. But keep it too a minimum as it adds a lot of extra calories.

Rice and tofu casserole

Casseroles are great, cause pretty much if you dump enough stuff and bake it with some sauce, it's going to turn out great!

This is my tofu casserole recipe designed to use up broccoli. Though just about any veggie would be good.

Brown rice crust
use about 2 cups cooked brown rice
season with a little salt, or tamari or braggs
sprinkle with nutritional yeast or sesame seeds
press into a pie crust or casserole dish
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until it starts to crisp

Tofu filling
1 block silken tofu mashed
3 cup chopped broccoli
2 tablespoons brewers yeast
3 tablespoons braggs
mix together and set aside

In a saute pan cook
1 whole chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic
5-6 chopped mushrooms
add to tofu mixture

Mix 1/3 cup whole wheat flour with 1 cup plain soy milk or veggie broth
Add to hot saute pan and cook until just thickening
Add to tofu mixture and stir well

Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings.
Pour mixture into pie crust pan and bake at 375 for 1 hour

In the last 5 minutes broil until the top is browned.

This recipe is good to add more veg or different veg. Or add grated vegan cheese to make it creamier.

I served this one over a bed of spinach. I'm a big fan of fresh veggies mixed with cooked veggies.

Hippie Popcorn

Whirly pop, oil, popcorn, salt, brewers yeast.

Nuff said.

Veggie enchilada salad

I like to take the more calorie dense foods and dilute them out into a lighter and larger meal!

So I took the basic idea of a veggie enchilada and turned it into a salad.
This recipe has 3 parts, cooked veggies, raw veggies and bean sauce.

Raw veggies, or the salad part.
1/2 romaine head chopped
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
Lay this out in a large salad bowl or on a plate

Cooked veggies
In a saute pan add the following over med high heat with a little water to keep from sticking:
.5 cup chopped onions
.5 cup shredded carrots
.5 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
When the onions are soft add:
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 cups baby spinach
cook until broccoli is soft

Bean sauce
In a small pan heat .25 cup of refried or whole beans
add .25 of salsa or enchilada sauce

Assemble the whole deal as so:
Layer the lettuce, then tomatoes and peppers
Add the cooked veg on top
Add the bean sauce and spread over the cooked/raw veg
Add a few tablespoons of guacamole

The last bit is to add tortilla chips, or for a leaner version, broil a couple of corn or flour tortillas, or just stick them in the toaster. When they are crisp, tear them up and serve on top.

This whole meal has about 400 calories and will stuff you to capacity no matter how hard you've been skating or working out.

Garbanzo tomato dressing

I was making a salad for lunch and didn't want the usual dressing. I was thinking of making hummus and then thought maybe I'd make a salad dressing along those lines.

1 can garbanzo beans
2 roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinagrette

Use a food processor to first grind up the garlic, then add the garbanzos and tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients until it is smooth.

You may want to back off the garlic and oil. This can be a very lean dressing without the oil. And I like raw garlic, but it can be a little overwhelming for some.
If you use less tomato it's more like a dip.

Off the cuff applesauce oatmeal muffins

I like experimenting with my kids when I cook. It's easier than following an exact recipe and the kids dig it.

Today's experiment is applesauce oatmeal muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 cup soymilk
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp baking powder

mix the dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, mix it all together until combined.
Divide into 12 muffin tins and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Mushroom gyoza

I love gyoza. But who doesn't love fried doughy goodness?

I made the filling a little too blended. Next time chunks of mushrooms, onion and carrots would be better, but they still turned out tasty!

Mushroom filling:
5 large mushrooms chopped
1/2 onion minced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 carrot shredded
salt to taste
1/4 cup tofu mashed
2 cups baby spinach blanched and chopped
1/4 flour

Mix everything together except the flour and spinach and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the spinach and flour, mix well.

I used store bought gyoza wrappers. Add a heaping teaspoon of ingredients, wet one side and press together, crimping one side.

Saute dumplings in a frying pan until crisp on both sides then add a little water and cover until all the water has been absorbed.

Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

Oh the leftover filling mix went into a couple of split red peppers and then were baked at 350 for an hour. Awesome!

Mini Pizzas

Pumpkin party today! And I wanted to make something easy so I opted for pizza!

I made a basic dough last night with just a pinch of yeast. I let it rise overnight, then put it in the fridge until an hour before the party.

Basic Pizza dough
3 cups water
6 teaspoons salt (about 2 teaspoons of salt per cup water)
5ish cups bread flour- enough to make a sticky dough
1/2 teaspoon-ish yeast
Mix just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave warm overnight.
Refrigerate until ready to use. (Keeps in the fridge up to a month)

I have a wonderful electric tortilla maker that presses and cooks tortillas at the same time. So I made up mini pizza crusts with the press and only cooked them half way until they were solid but still all white.

When people came over I would sauce them up with some Super Simple Sauce, add cheese and pop them in the oven for 5 minutes or so.

Super simple tomato sauce:
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 whole onion chopped finely
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
3 cups crushed tomatoes
Cook garlic, onion and herbs until browned. Add tomatoes and simmer until ready to use.

I made myself some with sauce and mushrooms. Who needs cheese!
Having the pre-made pizza crusts was awesome. Totally going to be making these in the future and keep the extras in the freezer.

What's for dinner?


I've been digging on tomato based soups the past week. First I made classic tomato soup. Ate myself sick.
Then I made carrot tomato soup with the leftovers. Ate myself sick again. And by the way, organic carrots are sooo much sweeter!

Today I made a turnip green, onion, carrot, celery, garbanzo bean with tomato base soup. The first two were pureed. This one is wonderfully chunky.

I will not eat myself sick today. One of those little tricks I'm learning is to try to eat normal portion sizes. Not easy for me. I was taught to eat large portions of very bland food. Ah the 70's, the era of really bad diet ideas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Hundred Entries and One Banked Bout!

SO!!!! I haven't posted in a while. I haven't lost my love for derby or for blogging. Just there has been a lot of some stuff and not so much of others.

To catch you up on "How the Wheels Turn" this has been the past several months.

We have a large ref group. Larger than what most leagues have. Larger than what most small businesses have. So it got a little chaotic trying to stay organized, utilized and on track.
We voted on a management structure, appointed positions and started getting shit done. Yeah us!

I am now the interim secretary to the Director, also know as Chief of Stuff. I basically listen to the director, give my two cents, remind him of stuff to do, do stuff, organize stuff and try to be helpful. I am also the Rules Training Coordinator. This means that I teach rules, get other people to teach rules, teach positions, get other people to teach positions, make sure it's all written down and in a timely manner.

About the track. Well we have one. It's big, really big. It's in our warehouse. I've skated on it twice now. We finished on Saturday night at 7pm so we've had all of four days on it.

It's kind of freaky to skate on a banked surface, but also not really freaky at the same time.

Oh by the way did I mention the bout? Yeah. We're having our first on a banked track, roller derby bout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On December 4th, Saturday, doors open at 5pm.

I'll be an Outside Pack Ref. Which means I won't be skating. Which I am just fine with for my first bout!

Oh and today I went to open skate. Cavina showed me how to start side surfing. I did like 2 laps with 2-3 second side surf touches, which is freaking awesome!

I'll be posting more and more photos soon, now that derby has, as they say, started rolling again.